Worker’s Choice provides a method to fix the free/forced rider issue that exists in right-to-work states. Without requiring a complete overhaul of a state’s public sector collective bargaining law, this policy can free unions from having to provide services to employees who do not support them, and allow individual employees to represent themselves and negotiate independently with their employers.
This policy will likely lead to several other benefits as well. Public sector employees would be able to completely disassociate themselves from unions, if they so choose. They will also have a better chance of meeting their unique needs by negotiating an independent contract with their public sector employer. Facing the risk of losing more members, unions will need to focus their efforts and provide better services to dues-paying members. To the extent that public employers can negotiate individual contracts with nonmember employees to increase productivity and retain talented employees, taxpayers will benefit by receiving more efficient and effective public services.
Further, Worker’s Choice would avoid the potential problem of micro-unions, which are starting to develop in the private sector. By working within the constraints of current public sector collective bargaining laws, not more than one union per employee group that was elected by a majority of the unit would be allowed to organize. This assures that public sector employers would not have to suddenly start negotiating with multiple unions.
Finally, the principle underlying Worker’s Choice is to provide public employees with as much freedom as possible within the framework of existing public sector collective bargaining laws. Public employees should not be forced to accept the compensation structure, working conditions and representation of a union that they do not wish to associate with. More public employees should be able to meet their unique needs with regards to pay and working conditions, regardless of whether or not the employee group to which they belong is unionized or not.